https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

How can jokes help you with language?

A person just posted a Discussion simply about telling jokes and wonder why it got a Fiver, five down-votes that make a Discussion disappear unless you save it to your Following. By the time I replied it was gone, not in my Following so maybe it got deleted by a mod.

Anyway, I explained what not to do and thought this may be a possible way to remember things you are learning or things you may have forgotten. Although a native English speaker, I forgot what intransitive verbs are. Here's a joke to remember it: "Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They drink. They leave."

How about split infinitives? How can I remember what that is? Try this joke: "Adverb bumps into an infinitive in a bar. Adverb: “Bit crowded in here!” Infinitive: “It is! Shall we split?”

One more. Are you familiar with dangling modifiers? If not, this joke is for you: "A dangling modifier walks into a bar, and then orders tea and leaves."

Being language related does not necessarily guarantee you won't get down voted but at least you have a good excuse if it is. To the person who messed up, don't worry about it and try again.

November 18, 2018

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yves--

Let me tell you a little about myself. It’s a reflexive pronoun that means “me.”

November 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Denaniel

The three intransitive verbs reminded me of the classic joke about a panda. A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.

"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

"I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up."

The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

"Panda. Large black and white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carbsrule

Sounds like a book I've read somewhere ;)

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pinsch3

I don't know what that says about me...but that panda story just made my day...! :-D

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loyalist_

I study German, so there will be no jokes

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heike333145

I study German, so there will be no jokes

Well. ... https://www.cs.utah.edu/~gback/awfgrmlg.html

The Germans have another kind of parenthesis, which they make by splitting a verb in two and putting half of it at the beginning of an exciting chapter and the other half at the end of it. Can any one conceive of anything more confusing than that? These things are called "separable verbs." The German grammar is blistered all over with separable verbs; and the wider the two portions of one of them are spread apart, the better the author of the crime is pleased with his performance. A favorite one is reiste ab -- which means departed. Here is an example which I culled from a novel and reduced to English:

"The trunks being now ready, he DE- after kissing his mother and sisters, and once more pressing to his bosom his adored Gretchen, who, dressed in simple white muslin, with a single tuberose in the ample folds of her rich brown hair, had tottered feebly down the stairs, still pale from the terror and excitement of the past evening, but longing to lay her poor aching head yet once again upon the breast of him whom she loved more dearly than life itself, PARTED."

Mark Twain, The Awful German Language

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andras-Budapest

:DDDDDDD

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_DragonFyre_

There is the continuous Youtube joke about whenever you say something in German, it sounds like you are yelling.

It's true in some ways but not in others.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aridneia

Once, I said, "Das ist Wasser." My friend asked me why I was angry with my water bottle.

November 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bailey39

Schmetterling!

November 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertColumbia

For a really funny (but also somewhat vulgar) adventure with English grammar, see the essay "English Sentences Without Overt Grammatical Subjects" by Quang Phuc Dong (https://lonniechu.com/QUANG.html).

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Funny stuff starting with the title and name of the University. Wonder if it is sister school with Sam Houston Institute. My language adventure with Vietnamese is vulgar simply by messing up the tones. The verb for wearing a tie becomes the f word by a change in tone. If in Vietnam, never sing the Banana Boat Song in Karaoke. The opening word is THAT word. Even repeating numbers 0,9,0,7 with wrong pronunciation got me in trouble for a phrase I can't repeat here. It has something to do with a bird.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WitlessBittern

Growing up I had a friend who was adopted from Vietnam. His adoptive parents learned a little Vietnamese in anticipation of meeting him for the first time, and when they met his new mother introduced herself as "ma," instead of "má." Of course, he was very confused to be meeting a ghost.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

And mã = horse, mả= tomb, mã= horse and mạ = rice seedling. We have covered all six tones of the language.

This is the hard part of Vietnamese. The rest is easy.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WitlessBittern

I also seem to recall him mistaking his new name, John, for being called a dog. But I can't think of what Vietnamese word he might have mistaken it for. When I told this story in the Vietnamese forum it was deleted within minutes and I never heard any theories.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertColumbia

The entire article appears to be a "ha ha, only serious" linguistics paper. It's designed to be really funny, but also to convey a serious finding. In a way, it really links back to the OP's initial inquiry about language learning. By remembering this funny article, it becomes much easier to learn or remember rules related to the use of the Imperative in English.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Ciao Songve. Just love the three intransitive verbs!

November 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_DragonFyre_

I hate you, but I love you. Mostly because I like tea.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Littlejoe2005

well I'm learning German and according to what my teacher at school says they aren't very sarcastic and very honest. For example if you say "does this shirt look ugly" to a friend and they think it is they will reply "yes I think it is ugly"

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heike333145

I would not say "it is ugly", but perhaps "die Farbe kommt mir etwas ungünstig vor" (I feel the color is a little off) or something similar.

It is true that we are often more direct than would be usual in other cultures, but we also don't want to hurt others' feelings. :-)

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WitlessBittern

This sounds like a wonderful way to live. In the US it seems like most of us fall into one of two camps; the majority will lie to spare your feelings, and a minority will be rude to you about it while patting themselves on the back for their honesty. The rare ability to be simultaneously diplomatic and honest is one the things I respect most.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Littlejoe2005

yeah you are right and that is true that's just the culture in Germany and to them that is completely normal

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bailey39

That's just some of what I love about German culture.

November 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deleted_Z

im sorry my sister has her own account, but she got on mine to prank me, and she won't admit it, im so sorry

November 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArpsTnd

Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

Also, I got this thing from my French tree « La différence qu'il y a entre les oiseaux et les hommes politiques, c'est que de temps en temps les oiseaux s'arrêtent de voler ! » it's a word play, it compares "les oiseaux" (birds) and "les hommes politiques" (politicians). That from time to time (de temps en temps), the birds stop "voler"-ing. "voler" either means to "steal" or "to fly".

A corny pick-up line from ArpsTnd: Why is soy sauce banned in Vietnam? Because "I love you" (If you speak Vietnamese and Filipino~Taglish you'll get it)

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertColumbia

Those first two examples are classics.

Other famous examples:

Don't use no double negatives.

The passive voice should not be used.

If a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

A writer should not change your point of view.

When dangling, watch your participles.

Stamp out and abolish redundancy.

Don't verb nouns.

If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

One should never generalize.

Don't use sexist terminology, broads hate that.

Run on sentences cause all sorts of problems for readers and people should never use them and must try to write better and divide their sentences.

No sentence fragments.

Don't overuse exclamation points!!!!!!!

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James288856

Is there any jokes from Spanish ?

November 20, 2018
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